The first oil well in the United States was drilled in Texas in 1859. The discovery of oil transformed the economy of the state and helped to make Texas one of the wealthiest states in the nation.
Mitchell County is located in the western part of Texas and has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Lipan Apache and the Comanche, who roamed the region for centuries.

In the mid-1800s, settlers began to arrive in the area, attracted by the land's fertile soil and the promise of a new frontier. One of the earliest settlements was the town of Colorado City, which was founded in 1881. Originally established as a rail station, the town quickly grew and became the county seat of Mitchell County.

A significant event in the county's history occurred in 1928, when the discovery of oil in the region brought a wave of prosperity and economic growth. Oil companies flocked to the area, and Mitchell County experienced a boom as oil fields were developed and wells were drilled. The industry continued to play a significant role in the county's economy, attracting workers and spurring the growth of towns such as Loraine and Westbrook.

Over the years, Mitchell County has witnessed both progress and challenges. The construction of Lake Colorado City in the 1930s provided a recreational outlet for residents and helped with water conservation efforts. However, the county, like many in Texas, faced hardships during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, which had a profound impact on the agricultural sector.

Today, Mitchell County is known for its friendly communities, natural beauty, and rich heritage. It remains an important area for agriculture, with cotton, wheat, and cattle being the main industries. The county also offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and hiking, allowing residents and visitors to connect with the region's history and natural resources.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Mitchell County, Texas.

  • 1876 - Mitchell County is established
  • 1880s - Ranching becomes the main industry in the county
  • 1882 - Colorado City is founded as the county seat
  • 1907 - Oil is discovered in Mitchell County, leading to an economic boom
  • 1925 - Colorado City experiences a major oil boom
  • 1942-1946 - During World War II, an internment camp for German prisoners of war is established in Mitchell County
  • 1962 - Lake Colorado City State Park is established
  • 1976 - The historic Llano Estacado Wind Ranch is built in Mitchell County
  • 1994 - Mitchell County Historical Commission is formed
  • 2004 - The Windy Point Park and Campground is opened
  • 2011 - Texas Parks and Wildlife Department opens the newly renovated Mitchell County Courthouse Museum